giant molecular cloud
(interstellar gas cloud with molecules, thousands of solar masses)
A giant molecular cloud (GMC) is a
molecular cloud (i.e., including compounds such as
molecular hydrogen (aka HH or H2),
with a mass on the order of 103 to 107
solar masses. They are a common place for star formation,
within subregions that cool and contract further.
Bound GMCs (gravitationally bound) are observed,
but most appear to be unbound.
An area of research is how gravitationally bound volumes
that become stars manage to form within an unbound GMC.
(hydrogen,star formation,cloud type,molecular hydrogen)
Referenced by pages:
molecular cloud turbulence
Orion Molecular Cloud Complex